- Category: Unions
- Published on Wednesday, 26 March 2014
- Written by Rich T
As the sun shone across Ilford, north east London, on 25 March the roads that lead to the City of London Cemetery were a sight to behold as hundreds gathered to pay their respects to RMT leader Bob Crow, who died suddenly last week of a suspected heart attack. Trade unionists and activists displaying hundreds of colourful union banners as well as flags from groups such as the Stop the War Coalition which Crow supported, lined the route from near the 52-year-old's house in Woodford.
Crow's coffin was carried in a horse-drawn carriage, in traditional East End style. The four horses were dressed in blue and white plumage, the colours of Crow's beloved Millwall Football Club. As the hearse approached the cemetery mourners clapped and cheered chanting, “Workers united will never be defeated." Some even sang The Red Flag and The Internationale as they moved from the sides to join the procession to the cemetery gates.
This past week tributes to Bob have poured out across the labour movement. GMB union leader Paul Kenny said, “Bob was an absolute giant. He was remarkable fighter for working people, but he was also passionate about protecting the health and safety of the public, which he never got any credit for. He was a funny, witty, interesting man, and the union movement - in fact the whole country - will be a duller place without him.”
RMT president Peter Pinkney said, “Bob’s death leaves a massive gap in the lives of everyone who was fortunate enough to know him and represents a huge loss to the trade union and labour movement both in this country and internationally, and specifically, for the RMT members Bob led with such stunning success.”
Tributes will also be paid on May Day, with a special event being planned in London